President Bush has now sent the Undersecretary of State to meet with Iranian nuclear in multi-party negotiations without Iran meeting the demanded conditions. A deal has been cut with North Korea regarding its nuclear program, in effect returning more or less to something similar to the deal Clinton cut that Bush abjured a few months after he got into office (except that now the North Koreans have actually tested nuclear weapons). And he has been reported to have acceded, sort of, to the demand of Iraqi PM al-Maliki to some sort of "time horizon" for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq as part of Status of Forces Agreement. Many consider this to be a triumph of Condoleeza Rice over Dick Cheney in the waning days of the Bush administration as Bush becomes desperate to have some kind of historical legacy in the face of his continuing decline in the polls. It looks like the end of the Axis of Evil as the major focus of his foreign policy, as various hardliners complain.
It was always my view that Bush's invocation of the "Axis of Evil" was his bid to be the next Ronald Reagan, who had his "Empire of Evil" speech, rather than being a "wimp" like his dad, as Cheney kept whispering in his ear while pushing the invasion of Iraq and the dumping of the Clinton Korea policy. The change in the Korea policy was predicated on a similar outcome that Reagan was advertised as having gotten, a collapse of the North Korean regime like how the Soviet regime collapsed (although that happened during the presidency of Bush, Sr., and Reagan spent his whole second term being friendly with the perestroika leader, Gorbachev, who would make the moves that would lead to that outcome). But, the North Korean regime tested a bomb rather than collapsing, the Iranian regime (which had helped us against the Taliban in Afghanistan prior to Bush's speech) was strengthened by our overthrow of Saddam Hussein and got a much more anti-US leadership in reaction to our casting them as part of the "Axis of Evil," and the disasters in Iraq have been too numerous to bother listing, even though we are now at a point where Bush could declare "victory" (Saddam gone and a semi-stable, semi-democratic regime in place) and bring our troops home. Maybe Bush is finally almost growing up now that his presidency is nearly finished?